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NATIONAL
July 10, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
Less than a week after Trayvon Martin's shooting death, community members built a memorial outside the gated neighborhood where he died, leaving laminated photos, silk flowers and other trinkets in the grass as a tribute to the slain teen.  Then it rained. The grass grew. Teddy bears rotted. Residents started complaining, officials said, that the memorial defined their neighborhood. They called it an eyesore. The city of Sanford let the memorial stand for more than four months.
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OPINION
November 6, 2013 | By The Times Editorial Board
When new Police Chief Cecil Smith arrived in Sanford, Fla., in April, he suspended the city's neighborhood watch program - the one under whose auspices George Zimmerman had patrolled the streets until he fatally shot unarmed teenager Trayvon Martin. Now Smith is restarting the program, but the police department says it will exercise more control over volunteers, including doing background checks and asking them not to carry guns. "We just don't see the need for anybody to be armed," Smith told the Associated Press.
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NATIONAL
July 14, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
SANFORD, Fla. -- Allen Chapel AME Church was in mourning on Sunday. Many worshipers parked near a grave-like memorial to Trayvon Martin, a gray stone rectangle with a plaque displaying his name on Historic Goldsboro Boulevard, a thoroughfare for what was once the black side of town. Then they entered the church, filing past a poster of the 17-year-old in his now famous hooded sweatshirt. Sunday's theme was supposed to be celebrating youth, but after George Zimmerman's acquittal the night before in the fatal shooting of Martin, how could they rejoice?
NEWS
November 2, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
In a move that could ignite a legal battle, the Florida city where Trayvon Martin was killed will discourage neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying firearms, part of an effort to overhaul its police department and improve the city's tarnished reputation. George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was walking home from a convenience store, in February 2012. The case became a symbol of the country's racial tensions and divisions over gun laws, and thrust Sanford, a central Florida city near Orlando , into the national spotlight.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Laura J. Nelson
The Florida police chief who faced heavy criticism for his officers' failure to arrest the man who killed Trayvon Martin has been fired, Sanford city officials told the Los Angeles Times on Wednesday night. Sanford Police Chief Bill Lee met with the city manager earlier in the day to discuss the terms of his employment, officials said. “I have determined the police chief needs to have the trust and respect of the elected officials and the confidence of the entire community,” City Manager Norton Bonaparte said in a statement Wednesday night.
NATIONAL
March 26, 2012 | By Richard Fausset
SANFORD, Fla. -- The nation's leading civil rights advocates and hundreds of outraged people packed this laid-back lakeside community Monday to demand the arrest of the man who killed African American teenager Trayvon Martin, even as city police sources revealed details of the confrontation that portrayed the unarmed Martin as the aggressor. Beneath an incongruously cheerful Florida sun, the passionate but well-behaved crowd marched, chanting and shouting, toward the Sanford civic center, where, inside, the City Commission ceded most of its regularly scheduled meeting to Martin's grieving parents, their lawyer and a roster of civil rights luminaries.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
SANFORD, Fla. -- Police Chief Cecil Smith came to this city in the early heated days of controversy over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman. It was April 1, 2012, six weeks after the shooting, when Smith, 52, was appointed. Not only was there simmering tension in the community over the case, but Smith was replacing Bill Lee, who had been fired after declining to bring charges. Smith certainly had the police experience: 26 years in law enforcement in Elgin, Ill., population 108,000, roughly twice the size of Sanford, and had risen to deputy chief.
NATIONAL
March 22, 2012 | By Tina Susman, Los Angeles Times
The slaying of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed, black 17-year-old, by a neighborhood watch volunteer has prompted a federal investigation and, on Thursday, the temporary ouster of the city's police chief. To many black residents of Sanford, the escalating national anger over how local police have handled the case reflects years of tension and frustration over their treatment by authorities. Murray Jess, for one, can't shake the memory of an evening two years ago, as he drove through Sanford at dusk, heading home after attending an art show with his fiance and his 14-year-old nephew.
NATIONAL
June 25, 2013 | By Michael Muskal and Tina Susman
The police department official who worked with George Zimmerman on establishing a neighborhood watch program at a gated community in Sanford, Fla., testified Tuesday that members of such groups were not supposed to follow suspicious people and were told to stand aside and allow the police to do their jobs. On the second day of witness testimony in the well-publicized murder case, Wendy Dorival of the Sanford, Fla., police department described the protocols under which neighborhood watch groups operated.
NEWS
October 9, 1986
Lt. Don Sanford, a reserve deputy with the Norwalk sheriff's substation, was chosen as Reserve Officer of the Year by the California Reserve Peace Officers Assn. Sanford, who has worked on active reserve patrol for 28 years, has contributed more than 20,000 hours. "I was obviously quite pleased and honored," said Sanford, a Whittier resident who owns a photography studio. Besides patrol duties, Sanford also volunteers with an administrative division in the Sheriff's Department as a photographer.
NATIONAL
November 2, 2013 | By Soumya Karlamangla
In a move that could ignite a legal battle, the Florida city where Trayvon Martin was killed will discourage neighborhood watch volunteers from carrying firearms, part of an effort to overhaul its police department and improve the city's tarnished reputation. George Zimmerman fatally shot Martin, an unarmed black teenager who was walking home from a convenience store, in February 2012. The case became a symbol of the country's racial tensions and divisions over gun laws, and thrust Sanford, a central Florida city near Orlando, into the national spotlight.
NATIONAL
July 18, 2013 | By Benjamin Mueller
George Zimmerman won't be rearming just yet. The Sanford Police Department froze its plan to return Zimmerman's gun Thursday after the FBI put a hold on evidence in the case, Sanford police spokesman Capt. James McAuliffe told the Los Angeles Times. The FBI's request signals that the Justice Department is proceeding with its civil rights investigation into Zimmerman's killing of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin. McAuliffe said the gun, a 9-millimeter semiautomatic, won't be returned until the department completes its investigation and had no further need for evidence in the case.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
Sanford Police Chief Cecil Smith was hired to lead the central Florida department just as it was thrust into the national spotlight by the George Zimmerman case. And this week, after a jury acquitted Zimmerman, sparking a new round of national protests, it fell to Smith to keep the peace in town. The previous chief had been fired by city commissioners for failing to arrest Zimmerman for the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin, an unarmed teenager, in February 2012. Soon after, protesters rallied online and in streets across the country for Zimmerman's arrest.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
SANFORD, Fla. -- Police Chief Cecil Smith came to this city in the early heated days of controversy over the fatal shooting of Trayvon Martin by a neighborhood watch volunteer named George Zimmerman. It was April 1, 2012, six weeks after the shooting, when Smith, 52, was appointed. Not only was there simmering tension in the community over the case, but Smith was replacing Bill Lee, who had been fired after declining to bring charges. Smith certainly had the police experience: 26 years in law enforcement in Elgin, Ill., population 108,000, roughly twice the size of Sanford, and had risen to deputy chief.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Devin Kelly and Matt Pearce, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A day after one juror in the George Zimmerman murder trial spoke out on national television, four other members of the six-woman jury released a statement separating themselves from her comments. In their statement to CNN on Tuesday night, the jurors defended their roles in the trial. “We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives," the jurors wrote.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2013 | By Molly Hennessy-Fiske
SANFORD, Fla.--The mayor, police chief, pastors and other leaders of this central Florida city called for peace and unity at an inter-faith prayer service in a local church Monday, two days after George Zimmerman was acquitted of murder in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin. A dozen pastors lined the altar at New Life Center Church near downtown Sanford at noon for the service, which lasted about an hour and a half and drew more than 70 people. The pastors themselves -- five white, the rest black -- were a nod to the racial unity they have been working to achieve in the wake of Martin's death, Zimmerman's trial and Saturday's not-guilty verdict by a six-woman jury.
NATIONAL
April 11, 2012 | By Connie Stewart
George Zimmerman was booked into the Seminole County Jail in Sanford, Fla., on Wednesday evening on second-degree murder charges in the death of Trayvon Martin. Special prosecutor Angela Corey announced earlier in the day that she would charge Zimmerman, who shot Martin on Feb. 26. Gov. Rick Scott had appointed her to take over after another prosecutor withdrew from the case, which became a cause celebre for civil rights activists and a flash point for race relations in the 21st century.
NATIONAL
July 16, 2013 | By Devin Kelly and Matt Pearce, This post has been updated, as indicated below.
A day after one juror in the George Zimmerman murder trial spoke out on national television, four other members of the six-woman jury released a statement separating themselves from her comments. In their statement to CNN on Tuesday night, the jurors defended their roles in the trial. “We, the undersigned jurors, understand there is a great deal of interest in this case. But we ask you to remember that we are not public officials and we did not invite this type of attention into our lives," the jurors wrote.
NATIONAL
July 15, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
In a way, part of the outrage had always been about public space: Trayvon Martin, 17, carrying a can of iced tea and a bag of Skittles, was walking home when he was shot dead after a struggle with a neighborhood watch volunteer who had viewed him as suspicious. The death shattered those in Sanford, Fla., who knew Martin, but eventually touched strangers who saw a question they would later pose about their sons all over the country: Could a black boy walk home in public without being suspected of a crime?
NATIONAL
July 15, 2013 | By Matt Pearce
When deliberations began in George Zimmerman's nationally scrutinized Florida trial, the six female jurors were evenly divided on his guilt, according to the first juror to speak out about the case. In an initial vote inside the jury room in Seminole County, Fla., three thought he was not guilty, two thought he was guilty of manslaughter, and one thought he was guilty of second-degree murder in the 2012 killing of Trayvon Martin, 17. Then, Juror B37 said, the jury pored over the evidence, waded through the law and ultimately decided to acquit Zimmerman.
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